Mandatory recycling could mean higher costs for Scottish butchers

The Scottish government is examining a proposal to implement selective waste-sorting for all businesses, raising concerns of higher recycling costs for butchers.

The proposed Zero Waste Regulations would call for paper, glass, metals and plastics to be collected separately, and would make food waste collection compulsory for businesses involved in food production, retail or preparation.

But butcher John Davidson, of Davidsons in Inverurie, warned that waste collection is already expensive and should be made more flexible. He said that he already recycles his cardboard and unsold meat but gave up recycling his employees’ plastic bottles after the weekly rent became too expensive, and there was no option for monthly collection.

“It added considerable costs over a month, so I stopped. I’m not paying for a bin to be emptied weekly even though it has nothing in it,” he said.  

A spokesperson for Zero Waste Scotland said that making selective sorting mandatory could help cut the cost of recycling. “It’s not guaranteed that it will cut prices, but the regulations will create a market for the waste management industry and open up competition. We expect to see a lot more different service models,” he added.

The Scottish government believes firms could save up to £2bn by adopting resource efficiency measures, and has launched a free online training course to help SMEs adapt to the new regulations.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Zero Waste Scotland’s online training programme is specifically targeted at SMEs. With an expert mentor to guide them in identifying and making savings, this is exactly the kind of innovative support we need to engage all businesses on the road to zero waste.”

> Food recycling in Scotland

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